Since retiring from working 17 years on the frontline supporting her community through Centrelink, Rose joined Samaritans Emergency Relief as a volunteer to keep in touch with her community.
Rose’s role in Samaritans Emergency Relief is to meet people who are struggling to make ends meet and help fulfil not only their immediate needs but help them on a more positive, long-term path as well.
“We help with food parcels and help with power and water bills, but it’s not just that. We can refer to other services to get people on a path to help themselves out of their situation,” Rose said.
Rose credits her years at Centrelink for helping her lead with understanding and compassion.
“At Centrelink we had to have good ethics, not be judgemental; it’s similar at Samaritans. You realise people can get into situations sometimes and they don’t know what to do, they don’t know where to go, so if you can help them and guide them, that’s a good thing,” Rose said.
When COVID-19 hit last year, it changed the way Emergency Relief volunteers could do their jobs.
“We suddenly couldn’t meet people in person anymore. Everything became over the phone and via email. It’s all very COVID-safe and people coming in for help have adapted really well,” Rose said.
“The demand during COVID definitely changed. Many more people have been coming in for help with their power bills because they’ve spent so much extra time at home. Suddenly there’s this large bill they can’t pay, so we can help and work with the electricity company to make it easier for people and to help educate them on the best use of their power, too,” she said.
Outside of her volunteering, Rose has a revved-up hobby that surprises some who meet her.
“I do motor racing, I have an MGF and a Toyota Echo. I do hill climbs mostly,” Rose said.
“I won five trophies last year; I race at least every third weekend. It’s all age groups, we’ve got drivers from 17-85 years. There’s a camaraderie there. It’s a good network to meet up with,” she said.
A big thank you to all Samaritans volunteers for your invaluable work!